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A policeman stands guard underneath The Welcome Monument in Jakartas nearly empty business district on March 30, 2020 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Presidential Decree is imposing a large-scale social restrictions policy through Government Regulation

Noncoercive approach to fight COVID-19

Anton Aliabbas and Shiskha Prabawaningtyas

April 2020, Number 001

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo finally issued Presidential Decree No. 11/2020 regarding a COVID-19 public health emergency due to the worsening state of the pandemic. Relating to the decree, he decided to impose a large-scale social restrictions policy through Government Regulation No. 21/2020, underlining the “threat” of 19.5 million people traveling for mudik (homebound journey) this year.

To mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, he signed Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2020 that will provide an economic stimulus and social safety net totaling Rp 405.1 trillion (US$24.6 billion).

Clearly, the government is bracing for the worst-case scenario from the pandemic. In particular, to curb the outbreak, the government needs more strategies to restrict people mobility. Jokowi said the new policies would be implemented through law enforcement.

The 2018 Health Quarantine Law stipulates prison terms and fines for residents disobeying the restrictions. In this regard, Jokowi has ordered the National Police to enforce the restrictions. His earlier pleas for physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 seemed ineffective. . .

Excerpt from The Jakarta Post, April 3, 2020.

Dr. Anton Aliabbas, a graduate of PTSS 06-12, is a senior fellow for security sector reform at Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.